Hillsborough Castle Gardens

Explore the stunning gardens that surround the castle

Explore the stunning gardens that surround the castle

When

  • Open daily
09:30-16:00 (last admission is 15:00)

Ticketing information

Access to the gardens is included in a castle tour or gardens-only ticket.

Opening times vary. Please check the opening times page for gardens admission times on the date of your visit.

Included in palace admission Buy Hillsborough Castle tickets

Hillsborough Castle's glorious gardens are bursting with colour and are a joy to explore. Discover ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens at Northern Ireland's royal residence.

The historic gardens, which were developed from the 1760s onwards, offer intriguing contrasts between ornate formal gardens, woodland and meadows. Keep an eye out for specimen trees and rare plants as you explore the grounds.

On arrival, don't forget to pick up your copy of our garden explorer map which reveals more of the garden's unique features, including the Yew Tree Walk, Moss Walk, Ice House, Pinetum and the Quaker Burial Ground.

These special gardens are a delight to the senses throughout the seasons and offer countless places to unwind, contemplate, socialise and seek inspiration.

April 2019 will see the opening of our four-acre 18th-century Walled Garden. Visit our Hillsborough Castle Project page for more information. 

Hillsborough Castle Project

Garden highlights

Lady Alice’s Temple

Don't miss the tranquil Lady Alice’s Temple, where former resident Secretary of State Mo Mowlem once found welcome respite from the pressures of politics. Historically, the temple was given as a wedding gift to Lady Alice Hill by her brother, the 5th Marquess of Downshire in 1867. Take a seat and relish the tranquility as you enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens. 

Granville Garden

The beautiful Granville Garden was created in the 1940s and 1950s by HM the Queen's aunt; Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon. Lady Rose was the wife of the Earl of Granville, the second Governor of Northern Ireland. As young princesses, HM the Queen and HRH Princess Margaret would visit their aunt and uncle here at Hillsborough Castle. 

Yew Tree Walk

This picturesque path is the route of the original road to Moira which passed in front of the house and into The Square. It was enclosed during the mid 1800s and is now named after the paired Irish Yew trees that line the path. It offers outstanding views of the nearby Lady Alice's Temple.

The Moss Walk

Take a wander alongside the beautiful Moss Walk, framed under a canopy of lime trees. This stunning area of the gardens has recently had new paths incorporated to follow the original historic layout from the 1770s and is a beautiful photo spot throughout the seasons.

Other highlights

Hillsborough Castle's gardens are a treat that always reward; look out for the statue of Ossian, the Quaker Burial Ground, Ice House and Pinetum.

An exterior photo of the South facade of Hillsborough Castle on a sunny September day. Framed by greenery.
Hillsborough Castle Gardens, looking towards Yew Tree Walk and Lady Alice's Temple. An area paved with flagstones and set with flowerbeds featuring irises and other plants is in the foreground.

Potential disruptions

Due to the nature of the on-going Hillsborough Castle Project, it is possible there may be closures or restricted access to the gardens during your visit.

We endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum during this time, and thank you for your understanding.

Throne Room with silk green damask walls, wooden floor and large rug. Two red and gold Chairs of State, or 'thrones' are situated at the far end of the room. Gold-framed paintings of landscapes adorn the walls and three large chandeliers hang above.
Tours and talks Things to see

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family on a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle.

Wednesday to Sunday

Hillsborough Castle

10:00-15:00, two tours per hour starting on the hour and 30 minutes past

20 members of the choral group Cappella Carciliana stand in front of the State Entrance to Hillsborough Castle. The stone pillars and Georgian windows of the castle are visible in the background. The gentlemen wear a black suit and tie whilst the ladies in the group wear green ballgown dress.
Events

Because there's nothing more magical than carols in a castle dressed for Christmas.

01 December 2018

Hillsborough Castle

19:45-22:00

Two horses draw a carriage in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace
Families Tours and talks

Tour the East Front Gardens in 19th-century style in the Tudor Rose and meet our magnificent shire horses.

Selected dates

Hampton Court Palace

11.00-17.00

Sitting hare garden ornament

Sitting hare garden ornament

This inquisitive little hare will add character to your home and garden. With a traditional bronze effect finish, and inspired by classical bronze sculptures, this miniature hare will add narrative to your garden.

£7.99

Luxury Rabbit Doorstop

Rabbit doorstop

The sitting rabbit doorstop is a handsome fellow made out of luxurious beige fabric with silk trim - he is definitely more than a doorstop as his appealing looks are sure to guarantee him the best room in the house!

£29.99

White background. Main image is of a bronze finished garden ornament of a miniature dachshund which is sold in the shops and online.

Dachshund bronze finish garden ornament

This playful bronze effect dachshund will charm any new owner. This fun decorative garden ornament features a miniature dachshund dog standing on its hind legs and is inspired by the history of royal dogs.

£19.99